Monday, May 18, 2009

Junk Science: Not Everyone in a Lab Coat Is Right

" 'All the Junk that's Fit to Debunk' "

Haven't heard of "junk science?" The website provides this definition:

" 'Junk science' is faulty scientific data and analysis used to advance special and, often, hidden agendas. The junk science 'mob' includes:..." The list runs from "The Media" and "Personal Injury Lawyers" to "Individuals."

This isn't, as far as I can tell, your run-of-the-mill conspiracy theory site. It does, however, have facts and resources that may run counter to what "everybody knows" in some circles. Steven J. Milloy, the man behind, has an annoying (to some) habit of researching topics, finding out what's fact and what's fabrication, and publishing what he finds.

I've touched on junk science now and again ("Silly Science: Hourglass Figure Not Good for Women" (December 17, 2008)). I haven't made it a personal cause, but I do think that knowing what's true and what's not is important.

Which reminds me: has quite a bit of material on the silicone breast implant shakedown, toward the end of the 20th century, including "In the Shallow End of the Jury Pool: Can Junk Science Be Used to Influence Prospective Jurors?" (1997)

Interestingly, women who had a silicone boob job had better health than women who didn't. You have to dig a bit to find that, though. (A nationwide study of connective tissue disease and other rheumatic conditions among Danish women with long-term cosmetic breast implantation. (May, 2007: Epub February 26, 2007), a service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health) (It's true that some women with silicone implants had specific health problems. But roughly the same percentage of women who hadn't had the surgery had those problems, too.)

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